The Transcendent Power of a Beautiful Note

A beautiful note will journey to the deepest recesses of the human heart, if you allow it there when it arrives by surprise, or by intent.

It might be hand-written characters on yellowed stationary, or the musical notes alighting the airwaves of sound, but somehow, at some moment, something meaningful casts a profound impact upon the tender territory of one’s very heart.

That’s what happened recently in war-torn Kharkiv when a cellist set a stool in the crumpled debris of his bombed-out city and made Bach rise above the ashes.

It happened in a Kyiv bunker when a young girl’s voice lifted Disney’s “Let it Go” to those hunkered down in shelter, and it happened in that same city where a young boy took to the keys of a white piano in a hotel lobby and played “Walk to School” by Leonard-Morgan in the chaos of bombs.

And it happened as the second-movement-adagio of Rodrigo’s Concierto Aranjuez resonated pure beauty and hope to me on the cusp of received blood results.

But how does a note travel from the head to the heart? How does it evoke the deepest emotional joy or sorrow in the innermost chambers of one’s emotional center?

Surfing on a wave of sound, a note enters the auditory canal and finds its way to the drum of the ear. In the eardrum, it embraces three tiny bones which multiply the vibrations before the note travels to a snail-looking-structure called the cochlea. Fluids inside that little snail begin to ripple, so much so, that tiny hair cells climb on board the moving wave and shake and shimmy into a dance with microscopic projections flooded with chemicals. Then, Presto! An electrical signal. The auditory nerve launches that charged signal to the brain.

That’s what we humans recognize as sound.

But I confess. The mystery of a beautiful note is more than mechanics or anatomy. Something deeply spiritual is at play here. Something intricate and heightened and lovely lifts the heart to heavenly places—sometimes seemingly miraculous.

Blessings to you for what enters your ear canal and heart.

Thanks for stopping by.